Putin ally quits as Speaker of parliament

Putin ally quits as Speaker of parliament

Boris V Gryzlov, is the highest ranking official in United Russia after Vladimir V Putin, who serves as the party’s leader but is not a member. Intensely loyal to Putin, Gryzlov in eight years as speaker, played a key role in pacifying the Russian Parliament or Duma, which he once famously said “was no place for political battles.”

Gryzlov’s decision underscores the  pressure  on United Russia, which lost its constitutional majority in elections this month, officially gaining 50 per cent of the vote. But even that result has been called into question amid widespread accusations that the party engaged in ballot-stuffing.

In a statement on United Russia’s Web site, Gryzlov gave no specifics about the reason for his departure. He said he would remain United Russia’s chairman, but would not take a seat in Parliament. “Having worked in the State Duma for eight years in a row, I have been able achieve much of what was intended and much of what my colleagues and I planned to do,” he said.

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